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johns1974

smoke at header/exhaust junction

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Upon starting the car for the first time this winter, smoke started coming out of the junction between the header and the exhaust pipe. There is oily residue on the bottom of the flange and the smoke is coming off of that area (obviously burning it off). The smoke didn't stop or slow down, at all, when climbing to operating temp. I was hoping it would just burn off - no such luck after 15 minutes or so.

On the picture, you can see the shiny spot where I wiped off the oil that was there

Questions from the amateur:

There must be a gasket there - is it as easy to replace as it looks?

Can someone give me a quick "how-to"?

Is it dangerous/stupid to drive the car with this leak? Or can I get away with it for a test drive?

Any thoughts are much appreciated, as always!

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Questions from the amateur:

There must be a gasket there - is it as easy to replace as it looks?

If I get it right, it seems the oil is coming from within the header? In that case, maybe you have a leaky stud to the header? Leaking oil from the head. Maybe bad valve seals would do this after a stand-still, I´m not sure. I do recall cars with bad valve seals puffing blue smoke at start up. That is if the oil is coming from within the header. Someone with better knowledge will probably correct me.

Can someone give me a quick "how-to"?

Replacing the header/downpipe gasket? That can be a pain, rusty bolt that might break when trying to loosen them, and therefor drilling them out of the header and replacing.. No fun.

Otherwise you remove the bolts, separate the downpipe from the header and put it back together with a new gasket. Not much more to it. Except for rusty bolts that might break and so on..

Is it dangerous/stupid to drive the car with this leak? Or can I get away with it for a test drive?

I´m no fireman, but if you´ve got oil inside the header and exhaust - that can´t be good. I wouldn´t drive if I didn´t have to.

Any thoughts are much appreciated, as always!

No other oil leaks? At valve cover or so, that might end up at the header?

That´s my thoughts. I hope you get more, and find a solution.

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aim yer camera up at the exhaust manifold connection

at the head - please

and include a photo of the base of the distributor/housing

with lots of light

and if gases are leaking out of that header/down pipe

gasket - it maybe because your muffler is plugged with

mouse nesting and that is what is forcing the gasses

out of the weak seal in your system.

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I doubt you'd get smoke out of the joint without hearing a noticeable exhaust leak if the gasket was bad. I'd be looking for oil getting onto the pipes. Where is this "shiny " area in the photo?

Popular oil leak spots are valve cover gasket, oil pressure sender and relating housing, exhaust manifold studs that go into head. More problematic would be head gasket at the back. You could try changing manifold to downpipe gasket, but first have a good look with flashlight and paper towel.

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Thanks for the thoughts, guys. Here are some more photos per CD's request.

There is plenty of air coming from the tailpipe so I really dont think a critter made a nest in the muffler, but that would be interesting!

Hans, in my original post, the "shiny" spot is at the bottom of the exhaust flange. I had wiped the area with a towel and smeared the oil making the bottom of the downpipe flange "shiny."

The manifold bolts going into the head have a little oil around them but I'm hoping they look OK to the experienced eyes on this board. The smoke is very distinctly coming from the bottom of the header/downpipe junction and nowhere else.

Again, thanks for the help!

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In distrib2, is that oil on the "blade" and underside of dist? If so, the dist O=ring may be tired.

You appear to have good oil leak around the back manifiold studs. The upper stud actually goes thru to inside of rocker chamber and oil can migrate down threads. I suspect oil is migrating from there to lower pipe. Also, run a paper towel along the head just below the rocker cover seam (at least above #3 and 4 plugs to see if that gasket is the culprit.

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I have this exact condition. Have read other posts that suggested that the source was at the distributor. In my case the smoke is not terrible. It only begins when the engine is hot and is only visible when I lift the hood. The passenger compartment is pretty well sealed so that there is no other current evidence of oil burning. When I lift the hood it appears that the smoke is coming from where the tii exhaust manifold meets the muffler. I had a muffler shop look at it yesterday and they told me it wasn't the muffler. Would love to hear from OP how this was resolved, but any other insights are welcome. Thanks in advance.

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29 minutes ago, hynrgee said:

When I lift the hood it appears that the smoke is coming from where the tii exhaust manifold meets the muffler.

I do not understand this description.  Do you mean where the manifold meets the downpipe?  The muffler is a long ways from the manifold.

 

Have you looked around the distributor for oil leaks?  

That thick looking washer in the photo below, which is under/in front of the oil pressure sender, is a sealing washer.  It could be that oil is leaking there and running down onto the exhaust.  Sometimes it is helpful to hold a camera back in places that are hard to see and snap photos that you can then blow up to look for the problem.

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The first photograph in the post captures it and is referenced as the exhaust pipe meeting the header. In my case I have the tii manifold meeting the exhaust pipes. If I need to clarify further I can try to get some pics tomorrow. Thanks.

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Okay, that makes sense.  No need for photos on my account, but you might try using the camera to find your oil leak.  

The studs that attach the manifold can leak oil from the head as well.

 

Tom

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Good advice. With the long weekend I'll see what I can find. The number of promising but ultimately useless dead links this search has generated caused me to continue querying using different terms. Some good information here.  Thanks again.

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